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Uploaded: March 11, 2008
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 4
Updated: March 11, 2008
P.O.V: Side
Favourited: 8 times
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Okay people this tutorial today is going to be on another dragon, but not any dragon, the Japanese dragon. These types of dragons look similar to the Chinese dragons except there are slight differences. For one, they have no wings at all, so this means they don’t actually fly around as much as the Chinese dragons do. Second, their bodies are heavily scaled with a snake like body; this gives them the appearance of slithering instead of flying. Japanese dragons also have small clawed legs and their heads have small horns or antlers, they resemble more of a lizard in the face then any other dragon species. Japanese dragons are usually depicted around large bodies of water, surrounded by clouds or fly out of the heavens. These mythological creatures of Japan are a lot more slender, and this is why they look snake like and not big, bold and full of hair like a Chinese dragon. Now, an interesting fact about these slithering serpents, since Japan is a country surrounded primarily by water (surrounded on all four sides to be exact), the traditional Japanese dragon shares a close bond with the sea. The Japanese word for these dragons is Ryu; another distinction that these beasts have from other eastern dragons is that they only have three claws on each foot. The Japanese dragon is just one out of four beasts from Japanese mythology; the other three are as follows, Crimson Bird, Black Turtle, and the White Tiger. If you ask me what dragon has more unique appeal, well my answer would have to be both. The Chinese dragons have a bold colorful look to them, and the Japanese dragons have a subtle quite sleek look that makes them sort of mysterious. All in all any way you look at it I love all kinds of dragons even the ones I pull out of my head. I mean to me their just fascinating creatures that have been around for centuries. This tutorial will show you how to draw a traditional looking Japanese dragon step by step. I hope you have a load of fun.

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how to draw a traditional japanese dragon

How to Draw a Traditional Japanese Dragon

how to draw a traditional japanese dragon step 1

STEP 1.

The first step is always simple and short. What you are going to be doing here is drawing out the guidelines and a few circle shapes. Lets start off by drawing the circle shapes, there is only a few of them Draw a small round circle for the head and another wide smaller circle for the eye. Then draw a boxed oblong shape for the snout. All that is left to do for the shapes is draw out two circle for the knees. Now what you are going to next is draw the guidelines for the body, hair, and whiskers.
 
how to draw a traditional japanese dragon step 2

STEP 2.

Now in this step which is step 2, you will be drawing out the actual shape of the Japaneses dragons body in detail. The best way to start this step is to start at the head and snout. This is a very simple step because all you will be doing is basically drawing an "S" shape for the body. Using the guidelines draw out the legs, and detail the hair a bit.
 
how to draw a traditional japanese dragon step 3

STEP 3.

And finally the last step where all you have to do here is sketch out the detail and definition on the Japanese dragons hair, face, head, claws, and frilly looking hair on the back of the front and hind legs. You are going to have to draw each individual spike that is on the dragons back. After your sketch looks like the one above you can erase the guidelines and circle shapes.
 
how to draw a traditional japanese dragon step 4

STEP 4.

This is what your sketch should look like when you are done. All you have to do is color him in your own colors or use the coloring code that i used here on my sketch. That is going to conclude this tutorial on how to draw a traditional Japanese dragon.